$4.5 Trillion May Be Lost Annually Without Biodiversity Action: UNEP. "The world would lose a maximum of $4.5 trillion every year if no action is taken to prevent the loss of biological diversity, and the poor would be hit the hardest by such a loss, a UN report said Wednesday. The UN Environment Program (UNEP) released the report on the sidelines of the ongoing international conference on biodiversity in Nagoya. The final report on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity aims to promote the sustainable use of ecosystems among states, corporations and people by showing their importance in economic terms...." [Kyodo/Factiva]
FT adds that "...the report cites examples of how damage to ecosystems causes economic penalties. Overfishing is costing $50 billion a year in lost economic opportunities. The value of insect pollination globally was put at about $211 billion in 2005, while coral reefs - nurseries for many fish species - were estimated to provide between $30 billion and $172 billion a year in economic benefits...." [Financial Times]
The Washington Post reports that "...if reefs collapse because of warming and other factors, lead author Pavan Sukhdev said, this could prompt huge numbers of people to move in Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions, causing political instability and strife. 'There is a serious risk there will be significant migrations away from coastal areas,' he said....
At least two major developing countries - India and Brazil - announced Wednesday that they would embrace this method of calculating the value of natural capital when charting national policy. The idea of incorporating ecosystem benefits into policymaking has yet to gain the same level of traction in the US, however, where a proposal to cap greenhouse gas emissions collapsed this year after critics said it would damage the nation's economy...." [The Washington Post]